First fanfic. Please don't hate on my grammar.
The Ides of March
March 15, 1990
Every sound, every noise rang in his ears. The quiet hiss from the air ventilation… the continuous hums of his computer… the pitter-patter of the relentless rain against the windows… the smooth slosh of the golden liquid moving in his glass. They were such seemingly inaudible sounds, yet they reverberated through his ears deafeningly. The noises rumbled through his brain like incessant church bells. He didn't want to hear any more of it anymore. Someone make it stop.
He released hold of a glass of whiskey in his hand and covered his ears tightly. He shut his brown eyes close, trying to block the dark view of the Pacific, engulfed in a thunderstorm. The waves crashed and the wind howled. The sky grumbled and brought strikes of lightning onto the wild sea. He would give anything in the world; he'd sacrifice anything in his power for just one second of silence. All he wanted was silence.
"Someone stop the bells!" Tony roared, throwing the glass in a fit of fury and defeat towards the cream white walls of his living room. His eyes flinched close as the shatters of the glass echoed throughout the room, causing more noise in his state of entropy. "Please," he murmured softly. Gold whiskey stained the walls and the taupe carpet. There was glass everywhere. Broken and neglected…as he was… again.
Every fucking year... I hear those fucking bells.
Funeral bells. Tony has always heard them, he has always hated them. Every year, as the calendar stops at the Ides of March, it would always ring in his ears.
It would echo.
It would boom.
It would explode.
The deep, earsplitting clangs of the bells reminded him of everything that happened that day, five years ago. It was such a worn-out day as he remembered cringing at the sound of the news. He was only seventeen, already spending his third year in college when he received a call from Stane, informing him of the accident:
March 15, 1985: Howard and Maria Stark died on impact on the roads of Malibu, California.
The drunken man, driving the cargo truck would've been severely punished if he didn't die too. His flawless memory acted as a curse as he remembered everything so vividly, as if his memories were made into a film, perpetually on loop. He remembered the police coming to fetch him from his workshop asking him to identify the bodies. He remembered Rhodey's warm hands on his shoulder. He remembered Stane, assuring him that everything will be okay. He remembered the faces of the people who came up to him in the funeral the very next day, offering him their condolences and sympathies. He hated those people. He didn't even know their names. However, he was completely aware of the fact that those people knew how to kiss ass when the heir of Stark Industries have been placed on the throne, vulnerable…weak.
Kiss-ass fuckers from their half-ass companies...
He loathed the day as much as he loved women. Everything had always been in his control. He had life on a leash. It was a chess game where he knew all the pieces would fall. He planned his moves, and predicted the consequences. But at that day, everything fell apart. Disorder and chaos filled the voids of his heart and threw him off-balance. He planned everything in the palm of his hands. He planned that he'll get a degree in engineering, physics, chemistry, calculus. After that, he predicted that his dad would finally announce his pride in him. He planned to work with him. He planned for a better future.
"Tony, a Stark must always have iron in his backbone," his father would always tell him. But any hint of iron in his body has been stripped away from him that day and it became an annual curse.
Tony worked his hardest to get back on track a year after their death. He locked himself in his workshop for three months, and allowed Obadiah Stane become CEO for a while. He acquired doctorate in mechanical engineering and drew a new blueprint of his life, without the help of Howard Stark. During those three months, he created the most complex machinery imprinted with unprecedented intelligence. There was that one night, after two bottles of vodka, and classic rock drowning his ears, DUMM-E was created. Although he perceived the robot as failure, he couldn't bring to destroy one of his creations. He also took the time to wire his very own electronic butler, a program with artificial intelligence named JARVIS, who in return became his trusted companion. The genius chuckled at the thought of having a computer programmed with human-like reactions and emotions, more at the idea of having one as a friend. But who knows, maybe it will be something more than just a computer. A man like him was already so far ahead.
He also improved Howard Stark's design of the arc reactor, which powered his mansion, and every nook and cranny of Stark Industries. Obadiah just scoffed at him at this feat, claiming it's only a publicity stunt to attract buyers and to keep activists happy, so Tony kept the reactor's unlimited power to himself. He trusted Obadiah Stane. He has been a family friend and strong confidant for many years in his lifetime and his father's. But after the bullshit he had experienced funeral, he knew when to draw the line. He kept most of his newer technology inside his own lab and his mind. His innovations were always caged inside his brain and he will only open that cage if the Industry needs it and if he sees it appropriate. Also, in those three months of solitude, he figured out that his parents' accident was no accident.
Angst filled his system upon that discovery. Sorrow and anxiety became the source of his innovations and engineering proficiency. The accident was not random at all, he found out. He linked the V-Battalion to the murder of his parents, a secret organization to fight the Nazis, an organization his father refused to join. Tony could have walked on the path to murder himself and avenge his parents. But he took another approach of the situation. With careful thought and deduction, he came up with a solution… a solution that could solve everything: peace.
If there was peace, there would be no evil. If there was no evil, there would be no Hitler. If there was no Hitler, there would not be Nazis. If there were no Nazis, the Battalion would not exist. Howard Stark would not be recruited. He would not have the need to refuse. He would not have died along with his wife. He would not have left his son all alone.
Yes, peace was the answer.
And to enact his peace proposition, he pulled Obadiah from the throne and took the reins of Stark Industries. He took Stark Industries into the path of becoming the world's weapon manufacturer. He supplied the US Army with one-of-a-kind technology, unique and stronger than everyone else. With his weapons, everyone will learn to fear and respect him. The wars would step away from stalemate and there would only be one victor: Peace.
Now five years later, he had all the control he wanted, the control he needed. He held the biggest intellectual power, an undefeated financial stronghold and the invincible influence in the world. He ate the most luxurious meals. He drank the finest wine from France. He designed the most state-of-the-art mansion to be his home. He wore the most expensive Italian suits. He walked with the richest leather shoes from Milan. He drove countless of sports cars. He had the ladies in his arms. He had everything.
But why does he still feel so damn alone and completely lost every freaking year on this freaking day? Living in one of the most spacious homes in the world, why does he feel like the oxygen is being strangled away from him?
A voice croaked inside him.
I need to get out.
He sloppily jumped off the bar chair and slid his feet across the room to the stairs. DUMM-E wheeled towards the broken glass and started pinching the glass into a trash bin.
A stoic disembodied voice chimed in, "Yes, sir."
"It's time to—I have to—I need to go." He stammered in stupor.
I have already contacted Mr. Hogan to fetch you, sir. I also took the liberty and acquired Flaming Parrot tulips. A bouquet will be waiting for you with Mr. Hogan.
"She likes her tulips French."
"From Viel-Arcy's finest tulip cultivator, Jeanne Lamieux, sir."
"Great," he murmured. He straightened his back in front of the elevator. He tried to push the button for going down, but his finger failingly hit the cold wall. "JARVIS, would yo-
The elevator chimed open and he stepped in groggily. "Mr. Hogan is waiting for you in the garage, sir. The weather is 86 F and the thunderstorm is predicted to last for three more hours, sir. I advise you wait for the storm to pass before-
"Shut up." Tony leaned his back against the elevator wall and closed his eyes as it pulled down to the ground floor. The elevator chimed again and revealed Happy with a flat smile on his face and an umbrella in his right hand. Tony simply nodded his salutations to him and Happy gently patted his free hand on Tony's back and began leading him to the car. The man guarded him from the rain and pushed him in slowly into the leather seats of a black Audi 90. Vertigo overwhelmed him and forced his head to hit the leather. The sound of the rain gave him a headache and being inside a moving car only made it worse. Happy slipped into the driver's seat and glanced at Tony's dazed figure in the rearview mirror. "It's only 5 PM, Stark, and you're walking like a newborn giraffe. How many bottles have you been through?"
Tony sat up and glared at Happy. "Only one, Harold, and I am not drunk. I'm just tipsy."
"Right." And Happy began driving to his destination.
As the car moved, Tony looked at the window and saw the sky shadowed with dark clouds and persistent rain. He grimaced at the oh-so beautiful day. He shot a look at the passenger seat next to Happy and saw a bright bouquet of golden yellow tulips striped with passionate crimson. It shined brightly like burning ember. His mouth twitched and pulls into a small grin. She loved those tulips.
"Hey, good thinking of calling me before driving yourself to the cemetery. Well, your British buddy Jarvis did. I don't know about him but he kind of sounds… dead. When and where did you meet him again?" Happy inquired.
Tony weakly laughed back. Happy raised his eyebrows and Tony just chuckled more, not answering. "You'll meet him soon, don't worry…" He'll let Happy meet his AI butler in due time, but not today. He doesn't think civilization is ready for talking computers yet, where people are still freaking out about mobile phones. Tony kept most of his inventions to himself because he felt like people are not ready yet and most of his technology are not yet perfected. Also, JARVIS wasn't perfect yet. The program was still a little glitchy. His voice was very broken, computerized and monotonous. Sometimes, the computer won't even recognize his voice and would only respond to a few commands. JARVIS, however, has been coded with a set of algorithms so that the computer would keep Tony from trouble every March 15th. That is, when Tony is drunk as hell. He'll introduce JARVIS to the world someday, maybe in ten years, when the new millennium strikes in and the world doesn't end.
"All right then, we are here," Happy replied, unsatisfied with Tony's remark. The car skidded to a stop and Happy turned to him. "Do you want me to go wi-
"Umbrella." Tony stopped him. Happy sighed and tossed the black umbrella next to his boss. Shaking the last bits of vertigo from his head, he opened the door and gracefully went under the umbrella. The dark sky poured rain, each drop filled with increasing melancholy. The sight of gravestones over the grayed green grass added more depressing tone. He slowly walked towards a small hill, not minding the rain splashing over his Italian shoes. The bouquet was clutched closely to his chest, trying to keep the rain from ruining the flowers. Two hundred and thirty-eight steps later, he halted in front of two gravestones. Both did not have the common cross that covered the rest of the cemetery. Instead, there were intricate stone works shaped into diamonds. On the surface were atom-like spheres arranged in a hexagonal lattice.
On the center of the two diamonds was a plaque made of white marble. Golden script panned across the stark white surface: Howard and Maria Stark. March 15, 1985. Hope for a better future .He then placed the bouquet on the plaque and looked solemnly. The gold and crimson colors of the flowers gave a sharp contrast to the grim environment. His parents would've liked that. Nothing was ever discreet with a Stark.
Afraid that the flowers' beauty might get washed down by the storm, he put the umbrella over the plaque, covering the two gravestones from the rain. He took out a handkerchief and started wiping the stones and the plaque.
"I don't really talk to the dead, but hi, Mom… Dad," he grumbled, putting his handkerchief back into his pockets, "Just so you know, I'm 22 now… yeah it's kind of an annual thing. I don't really know if they have a calendar there in heave- wait I don't believe in heaven, never mind… I'm still the same, I think. I know I'm kinda tipsy right now, but bear with me a little. Maybe that's why I'm talking to two inanimate objects. Yeah, I'm tipsy. But then, I still talk to an inanimate object at home, drunk or not. He replies though… sometimes. Gotta work on that little piece of sh- oh yeah I can't swear in front of the dead. My bad. To continue this talking-to-still-objects thing, I should let you know that Stark Industries is the biggest thing right now. Well, it's been always been the biggest but you get the gist. Isn't that great, Dad?" Clouded brown eyes turned to his father's gravestone. Water droplets passed over his eyelashes as he eyed the golden letters of his name. It was suddenly cold, the rainy air seeped through his soaked clothes to his skin. His voice was quiet and somber.
"Hmmmm… would you actually say that? 'Job well done, son.' Ahah, who am I kidding, you'd probably be all, 'Later, I have a board meeting to go to.' But now I'm the CEO, and I am forced to go to those meetings, I can really see why you'd rather go there than spend time with your son. It's so much fun. Everything meeting is like a trip to the amusement park, it's a BLAST! Oh, I shouldn't really say blast, you know, you getting blown up and stuff. What? Too soon? Never mind that, I'm drunk." Then he turned to his mother and his mouth twitched to a small grin.
"Anyway, Mom, I got your tulips that you've always liked. You know, the flaming ones? I can see why you like them. They're kind of growing on me, now that I think about it. I remember the times when we would spend the summer up there in Arcy. God, I love France and their ladies. Red and gold are officially my favorite colors, Mom. Kind of like the hot rod that Dad used to drive in the Expo… Anyway, did Stane visit you guys? He'll probably do it later, because I make him do the stuff I don't want to do and right now, I don't want to do anything so he's doing everything. Well, tomorrow's going to be hell. Apparently I have 6 meetings to go to tomorrow and only one of them is in this country. Was it 6 or 8… I don't know. I should get a secretary. You know, a real, living one, instead of a computer, but then my last one almost threatened to kill herself if I don't let her quit. I need one who can put up with me. Someone who can control his/her emotions, you know. Like a living JARVIS, if you would say. But he/she wouldn't really ex-
"Tony?" a voice tolled in his ears. He realized that he has been rambling for about 10 minutes to two pieces of stone. Great, now he's not a drunk but a crack head too. He pinched the bridge of his nose and sulked. "Tony Stark?" The voice called again and by then, everything became clear. The wind was knocked off his lungs and his heart thudded with electricity. Only one person can make him forget everything and she was the owner of that beautiful voice. He remembered her voice well. He loved her voice too. Like the tulips against the dark semblance of the cemetery, her voice was clearing all the noises he had been hearing. Nothing echoed in his mind anymore. Finally, silence…
This story will cover my twist of Darcy Lewis' 'origin'- her childhood experiences as a Stark, meaning elementary and a little bit of high school (More of the high school will written as a separate fic, I think). This one will cover the Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, the Avengers, and hopefully more movies. Yes, she will be paired with someone but I don't know who yet. I must also warn you that this will be kinda detailed, just a tad. I won't be writing inside the MCU universe maybe until chapter 20. Sorry.
Oh, and reviews are welcome.